[Editor's note: This is
2nd in a series of articles by Robert O'Connor, president of Citizens
Action Coalition Inc. taking issue with positions published by
the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot.]
On Monday, September
23, 2002, the Virginian-Pilot presented the second part of a series of
articles to continue their effort to convince you to vote for another
tax for roads. The article, attempting to convince us that the
so-called third crossing is needed, inadvertently demonstrates the
I call the Third Crossing "The Big Lie." The map on the
front page of Monday's Pilot shows that the "crossing"
connects to the Monitor-Merrimac Bridge. The Big Lie does NOT connect
directly to the peninsula. The article declares, "It would be the
third bridge-tunnel spanning the Hampton Roads harbor." In fact,
The Big Lie would "run from Norfolk Naval Station across to
Craney Island." WOW! Just where everyone needs to go.
The writer states that regional leaders are concerned that congestion
at the Hampton Roads Bridge-tunnel "threatens to isolate South
Hampton Roads from the rest of the state." The assumption is that
commuters would use the new "crossing" instead. However,
adding convoys of truck traffic to the Monitor-Merrimac Bridge will
cause most drivers to seek a road free from trucks. How many drivers,
locals and tourists, would deliberately subject themselves to a
roadway choked by noisy, smoke-belching trucks? And most people
understand that in any accident, the automobile driver comes off a
very poor second.
Also, the article refers to studies that show that the "new
crossing would reduce traffic at the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel by
26%." A better solution is: move jobs from Norfolk to Hampton and
Newport News. That would reduce traffic by even more and a lot sooner!
In a paragraph near the end of the article, we find "Congestion
could drive up the costs for shippers and truckers that use the
port." Yea? So what? There are two approaches: first, increase
the price of the goods to cover the costs, and second, the port is
subsidized by the state. In either case, the solution should come from
the shippers and truckers or from the state, not from the locals.
Part V & VI